The Center for Dissemination and Implementation Science (CDIS) cultivates implementation research, practice, and education with a wide-ranging set of community partners. Our vision to build a healthier world through implementation science is made possible through our local, national, and international collaborations.

The Community Outreach Intervention Projects (COIP), School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago was founded in 1986 to address HIV/AIDS, particularly among people who use drugs. COIP operates from storefront sites in Austin, Humboldt Park, West Englewood, South Chicago, and Uptown. Other neighborhoods are served by COIP’s motorhome and mobile van units. COIP’s interventions are known for their use of the Indigenous Leader Outreach Model, which employs former drug users to deliver services and assist in conducting research.

CDIS’ long-standing collaboration with COIP on multiple projects includes a project to increase COIP’s capacity to serve 13-24 year-old African-American women at COIP, incorporating the delivery of IMARA at COIP field sites.

The Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC) provides temporary secure housing for youth from the age of 10 through 16 years, who are awaiting adjudication of their cases by the Juvenile Division of the Cook County Courts. The Center also provides care for youth who have been transferred from Juvenile Court jurisdiction to Criminal Court. These youth would otherwise be incarcerated in the county jail.

CDIS partners with JTDC and the UIC College of Nursing to provide sexual health education programming to JTDC residents. Programs are facilitated by inter-professional cohorts of UIC Health Sciences Colleges students.

Researchers at CDIS have partnered for over 15 years with Juvenile Probation and Court Services Department of Cook County, IL, the second largest juvenile probation system in the US. From 2004 to 2008, we developed and pilot tested PHAT Life, an innovative HIV/STI, substance use, and mental health intervention for juvenile offenders. Findings from the pilot study revealed reduced sexual risk taking and substance use at 3-month follow-up. More recently, we have rigorously evaluated PHAT Life in a carefully-conducted efficacy trial, with sustained positive outcomes at 12-month follow-up. In order to ensure that this line of research produces actual, real-world improvements in the lives of probation youth, we seek to identify in partnership with Juvenile Probation a PHAT Life implementation strategy that is effective, cost-effective, and sustainable within juvenile justice settings.  CDIS is currently conducting a 2-arm randomized controlled trial comparing the impact of PHAT Life on 350 13-17 year-old offenders’ risky sex, STI, substance use, and theoretical mediators when delivered by Youth Representatives (YR) vs. probation staff (PS).
The Desmond Tutu Health Foundation (DTHF) is a registered non-profit company established in association with the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre, an accredited research center within the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa. Bridging rigorous academic research with community development programs, the DTHF collaborates with those most at risk to find innovative solutions in the prevention and treatment of HIV and related infections. CDIS investigators, in partnership with the DTHF, will adapt the IMARA intervention to take into account the unique contextual factors and culture of South Africa and conduct a randomized controlled trial of the IMARA program at the DTHF.

Heartland Alliance provides a continuum of programs that address the root causes of poverty, generate social change, and inspire people to build better lives not only for themselves but for their communities. CDIS collaborates with Heartland Alliance staff to deliver PHAT Life, an innovative HIV/STI, substance use, and mental health intervention for juvenile offenders. Heartland Alliance programs offering PHAT Life include:

  • Heartland Human Care Services’ (HHCS) Manuel Saura Center, which provides pre-trial residential care and comprehensive case management services for justice-involved youth between the ages of 10 to 17.
  • Heartland Re-Entry Program, which provides residential care for justice-involved youth ages 12-17 who need stability before permanent residential placement.
  • F3D (Felony Drug Distribution Diversion), a 13-month pre-plea deferred prosecution program for emerging adults who have been charged with delivery of a controlled substance, which offers education, social services, job training, and other related supports.

Indiana University (IU) Health is the largest network of physicians in the state of Indiana, offering both specialty and primary care, as well as breakthrough research and community outreach in partnership with the IU School of Medicine. CDIS investigators work with IU Health on the Planned Outreach, Intervention, Naloxone, and Treatment (POINT) project, an emergency department-based intervention for connecting opioid overdose survivors to medication assisted treatment. POINT uses peer recovery coaching to address barriers that prevent opioid users from accessing medication assisted treatment.

Preventing HIV Among Teens (PHAT) Life is an evidence-based program that meets the need in juvenile justice to address youths’ co-morbid health problems. Building on PHAT Life’s past research, CDIS researchers and Influents Innovations are engaged in a public/private collaboration to (a) develop and evaluate a prototype interactive web browser and mobile app multimedia training tool to enable para-professionals (e.g., health educators, probation staff, youth care staff) to deliver PHAT Life to youth on probation, and (b) identify additional training materials needed to address facilitator gaps (e.g., HIV/STI knowledge, managing group dynamics).

Influents Innovations is a C corporation specializing in the invention, development and commercialization of evidence-based products and services for the health care, social services, and education markets.

Lighthouse Institute, a division of Chestnut Health Systems™, was established in 1986. Their mission is to help practitioners improve the quality of their services through research, training, and publishing. Serving health and human service organizations through offices in Chicago, Bloomington/Normal and Maryville, Illinois, Lighthouse Institute staff conduct applied research, program evaluation, training, and consultation. Dennis Watson, PhD, a CDIS faculty affiliate, is a Senior Research Scientist at Lighthouse.